How Melissa McMaster went from college instructor to Agri-Access Post Close Coordinator

Prior to becoming the Post Close Coordinator at Agri-Access, Melissa McMaster’s professional life has been truly impressive in its breadth and scope.

After graduating with a Journalism and Mass Communication degree from Iowa State University, she started her working life with a few years in marketing.

Then she went on to earn a master’s degree in Human Performance & Sport Studies at University of Tennessee, Knoxville. That led to an interest in teaching and a job as a college instructor.

She later pursued even more advanced study in Health Education at the University of Kansas, but ultimately decided to return home to Iowa to be closer to family. That was the catalyst that led her to pivot into administrative work.

Finally, in November 2020, Melissa joined the team at Agri-Access as a contractor. Now, she’s moving into a full-time position as Post Close Coordinator. That’s the extremely abridged version of it all, anyway.

Finding a good fit at Agri-Access

What makes such a cosmopolitan person choose Agri-Access? To put it simply, “Agri-Access … it’s just a really great company to work for. I’ve always enjoyed the people that work in our office. That’s one of the main incentives to stay.”

During her time as a contractor, Melissa says she was waiting “to see whether there might be a permanent opportunity eventually.” Over the past year, as new partnerships have been on the rise, the number of closed loans has been rising with them. All this growth eventually led to just the kind of opportunity Melissa was hoping for.

Turns out, a Post Close Coordinator is a bit like a detective

“We’ve had so much volume on the front end, there isn’t always time to circle back to the post-close items. I will oversee those items.”

That’s putting the position in a nutshell, but it’s not always as straightforward as it sounds. Melissa’s been assisting with post-close items since May 2021, and she’s already seen a lot of the quirks the work can entail.

“I don’t know if scavenger hunt is the right word, but certain things you end up finding have been left untidy. I’ve found I’ve had to do a lot of digging and research.” That can mean anything from studying physical files to reviewing digital files shared across any number of platforms and messenger services.

Fortunately, tying up loose ends is something Melissa tends to relish. “One of the things I’m most excited for is I literally have all these file folders on my desk. It’s going to be so satisfying to be able to move through them.

“I’ve always been really detail oriented and anytime you have to go through millions of documents, you’ve got to be detail oriented!” she laughs. “That’s just what I like to do. Organize and label!”

You can take the sport & health teacher out of academia, but …

Outside of her work with Agri-Access, Melissa’s still deeply connected to sports. She plays co-ed slow-pitch softball, often taking on the ever-demanding role of catcher to support the rest of her team. She also loves to cheer for her niece and four nephews at their games, whether they be playing soccer, football, baseball or basketball.

And though she doesn’t have an immediate personal connection to agriculture at the moment, she fondly remembers visiting her aunt and uncle’s dairy farm as a child.

“Peggy, who will be my supervisor, did tell me the other day she feels I’ve got that ag work ethic, even though I may not have that in my background,” Melissa revealed. And at Agri-Access, there really is no higher compliment.

Let’s discuss how we can expand your ag lending power.